by Toby Marlow & Lucy Moss.
The Arts Theatre, Great Newport Street, London WC2H 7JB to 14 October, 2018.
Tour dates – Rose Theatre, Kingston 31 October – 4 November; NST, Southampton 13- 17 November; The Lowry, Salford Quays 4 – 16 December; Lomond Auditorium, SEC, Glasgo2 20 – 30 December.
Tues – Sat 8pm. Sun 7pm. Mat Wed 2.30pm, Sat & Sun 4pm.
Runs 75 mins No interval.
TICKETS: 020 7836 8463.
Review: William Russell 18 September.
Six Queens dish the dirt on one King.
This tuneful, handsomely staged and splendidly performed show has received critical plaudits galore – and deservedly. It is just the right length, something all too rare, has a scintillating score, some good lyrics which for once – the cast know how to use their hand microphones – one can make out, and six leading ladies who lead the audience the merriest of dances. They are the wives of Henry V11, – “divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded and survived” as they rapidly inform the audience. As a history lesson it will help no one pass their GCEs, but who cares about that. The gist of what happened to the six is conveyed and they succeed in their avowed desire of revealing themselves as strong women and not just appendages of a King. The actors playing the Queens are all very good indeed, but, although naming names is really invidious, for me Alexia McIntosh who plays Anne of Cleves, was the one who held the eye.
The night I went the role of Jane Seymour, the Queen who gave Henry his longed for son, was played by Grace Mouat the swing and dance captain, with great verve and no sign that she had not been doing it every night. The Queens are backed by girl band four strong, and the result is arguably one of the best nights out the West End currently had to offer.
The only quibble I have is that while the not quite Tudor period costumes – more pantomime boy than anything else – for five of the Queens are gorgeous, the one for Catherine Parr, a horrid black jump suit, should have been ditched before opening night.
The fact is Six knows what its audience wants – this is a girls’ night out if ever there was – is to take pictures so when all is sung and done and the Queens do their last reprise permission for phones to be taken out and used is given. On the basis of Six Mr Marlow and Ms Moss could be just what the world of British musical theatre needs.
Catherine of Aragon: Jarneia Richard-Noel.
Anne Boleyn: Millie O’Connell.
Jane Seymour: Natalie Paris.
Anne of Cleves: Alexia McIntosh.
Katherine Howard: Aimie Atkinson.
Catherin Parr: Maiya Quansah-Breed.
Swing/Dance Captain: Grace Mouat.
Musical Directors Katy Richardson.
Associate Musical Director: Arlene McNaught.
Directors: Lucy Moss & Jamie Armitage.
Choreographer: Carrie-Anne Ingrouille.
Set Designer: Emma Bailey.
Costume Designer: Gabriella Slade.
Sound Designer: Paul Gatehouse.
Lighting Designer: Tim Deiling.